Last week I left a note on Laura's desk
It said I love you signed anonymous friend
Turns out she's smarter than I thought she was
She knows I wrote it, now the whole class does too
And I'm alone during couple skate
When she skates by with some guy on her arm
But I know that I'll forget the look of pity in her face
When I'm living in my solar dome on a platform in space

Cause it's gonna be the future soon
And I won't always be this way
When the things that make me weak and strange get engineered away
It's gonna be the future soon
I've never seen it quite so clear
And when my heart is breaking I can close my eyes and it's already here

I'll probably be some kind of scientist
Building inventions in my space lab in space
I'll end world hunger I'll make dolphins speak
Work through the daytime, spend my nights and weekends
Perfecting my warrior robot race
Building them one laser gun at a time
I will do my best to teach them
About life and what it's worth
I just hope that I can keep them from destroying the Earth

Cause it's gonna be the future soon
And I won't always be this way
When the things that make me weak and strange get engineered away
It's gonna be the future soon
I've never seen it quite so clear
And when my heart is breaking I can close my eyes and it's already

Here on Earth they'll wonder
As I piece by piece replace myself
And the steel and circuits will make me whole
But I'll still feel so alone
Until Laura calls me home

I'll see her standing by the monorail
She'll look the same except for bionic eyes
She lost the real ones in the robot wars
I'll say I'm sorry, she'll say it's not your fault
Or is it?
And she eyes me suspiciously
Hearing the whir of the servos inside
She will scream and try to run
But there's nowhere she can hide
When a crazy cyborg wants to make you his robot bride

Well it's gonna be the future soon
And I won't always be this way
When the things that make me weak and strange get engineered away
It's gonna be the future soon
I've never seen it quite so clear
And when my heart is breaking I can close my eyes and it's already here


Lyrics submitted by neko-chan

The Future Soon song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentMy first ever JoCo song. I heard it on a podcast. This guy is amazing. He released 52 free songs in a year called thing a week and they are all amazing. (yes, even resolutions) And this song is just perfect, the way it's so blunt. Because, seriously, how many of us have not considered taking over the world in the name of love?
    LoserKid101on January 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I've been there—dreams of taking over the world in the name of claiming some lovely lady as your robot bride. Who hasn't?
    Veiton October 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthings will get better in the future is a pretty obvious moral. the girl he likes will eventually be his (but against her will), he'll be respected(, or feared), and he'll be a genius...and a cyborg...awesome.
    Shikaruon February 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI am in the same age bracket as Coulton and remember seeing how cool the world was SUPPOSED to be by the time I was in my 30s. Our Weekly Reader had all these stories about how science was going to launch us to Buck Rogers-style awesomeness where we, the geeks, would inherit the earth. Well, the geeks are inheriting the Earth and we are all wondering where our monorails, Mars bases, and cybernetic upgrades are.

    On the bright side, I did get the girl. No coercion, threats, or mind-control devices necessary.
    NightRavenon March 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite songs, and the first of Jonathans that i'd heard. I was 14 at the time, and my quest for world domination was just beginning, and it described my social awkwardness and fear of rejection very well.
    KillOZapon February 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIn the messed-up Western model of courtship and marriage, guys go after ladies and it doesn't always work out.

    This song is gentle guidance that it's ridiculous to want to force someone to marry you, or anything like that. You can stack your cards and see what happens.

    The problem is that most people can't handle this sort of reckless and insane cultural model, then blame themselves instead of their culture. Arranged marriages are superior and ubiquitous. The West is retarded. At the altar of individual choice, we sacrifice the better part of our lives chasing after increasingly unmarriable and incapably selfish fellow-Westerners.

    The song is also about sci-fi geeks who retreat into fantasy because the real world is terrible, thus making things worse. They should all know better, but as long as someone is making a dollar off their souls, any warnings to the contrary will be squashed, they'll just keep cooking up the kinds of stories that appeal to sci-fi fans.
    histmyston November 28, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI really love this song.

    I think the premise is relatable to anyone who was labeled a nerd (and didn't have much success with the opposite sex) while growing up. The language and the premise are both quirky kind of funny in a childish, relatable sort of way. Yet it manages to hit those beats that makes it resonate on an emotional level and reminds you of how you sometimes felt when you were younger.

    It's so well written in that sense that it took me years to notice how dark the last line of the song really is. No matter which way you look at it...

    "She will scream and try to run
    But there's nowhere she can hide
    When a crazy cyborg wants to make you his robot bride"

    ... is neither quirky nor relatable, and it really does clash with the otherwise pretty innocent tone of the song.

    At first this kind of put me off, but the more time has gone by, the more I've come to really appreciate it, not in spite of the pretty uncomfortable turn, but rather because of it.

    I think this song is not so much about the innocent childhood fantasies of nerds in love that vow to use their superior intellect to take revenge upon the world and claim the women who laughed at them, but rather about how toxic thoughts like that can be. No matter how much of a victim you feel like, even if the unrequited love is unfair, even if the shit you have to take is cruel, giving in to bitterness never leads you anywhere good. Seeing yourself as the villain and vowing for revenge might feel good, but it leads down a trail of thoughts with pretty dark conclusions.

    It's not an uncommon theme, but the upbeat tone of the song and the way it's written makes it all the more effective. Not letting your bitterness twist and distort you into a bad person is not just some made up science fiction narrative, it's a challenge faced by a lot of people growing up, and something a lot of us should be able to relate to. Maybe most of us won't end up becoming masters of a giant robot army, but ultimately it's not just the narrator's body that has been stripped of its humanity by the end of the song, but his mind as well. It is (as so many of Jonathan Coulton's songs) a pretty heavy message wrapped up in a rather innocuous package.

    Now, I might be overreacting at those last lines (I know a lot of people that I've talked to who didn't reacted at all as strongly to them as I did), or I might be reading too much into the song. I can't speak for the author's intention, but at least this is the effect it's had on me ^^
    Henkyon April 21, 2017   Link

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